Highland News Leader

Madison County ‘STEM’ camp continues to grow

Eighty-four students in second to sixth grade participated in the third annual Madison County Regional Office of Education STEM Camp held the week of June 17-21.

“This is the largest participation we have seen since the camp began three years ago,” said Regional Superintendent of Schools Robert Daiber. “I think many area residents are learning about the quality experience students are having at this camp.”

The goal of STEM camp is to engage students through challenging activities that are fun, imaginative, and involve problem solving to show a relationship between science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Many of today’s high-skilled and high-wage jobs are centered more around STEM concepts and students need to understand the skill sets needed to pursue these careers. Camp curriculum included working as a team, using discussion, research, modeling, construction and analysis to complete different age appropriate hands-on projects throughout the week.

The Regional Office of Education STEM Camp is unique in that it is countywide and brings teachers and students together that have a real interest in learning more about science and technology.

The camp relies on highly motivated camp instructors from schools across Madison County and student volunteers from area middle and high schools.

Daiber commended the camp coordinators, Mike Moore and Rachel Lewis, who organize and promote the week-long event.

The addition of visitors from the community added a real-world design and engineering aspect for participants, Lewis said. This year’s event was special in that it involved a private sector instructor from Highland Machine and Screw and a volunteer from the Illinois Math and Science Academy.

Daiber also stated the camp could not be possible without the support of the private sector donors, including: SunCoke Energy, Highland Machine and Screw, GRP Mechanical Contractors, Magnesium Elektron, America’s Central Port, GCS Credit Union, Society of American Military Engineers, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Lewis also wanted to thank the Society of American Military Engineers and the students from Triad High School’s Robotics Club for volunteering their time and bringing their discussions and expertise to this summer’s camp.

Moore said the opportunity has was “a win-win for everyone involved.”